Raise your hand if you’ve ever been asked, “What does a Salesforce Administrator do?” Raise your hand again if you’ve struggled to answer this question. Me too. As a Salesforce Admin, you wear many hats. And sometimes, it can be difficult to articulate everything your role encapsulates, your experience, and the value you add to an organization in a concise and meaningful way.
Here’s the tough reality, though — your ability to communicate these important things can make or break your career. That’s why I set out to design a simple, new way to help you talk to your users and executives about Salesforce Administration: the REV Method.
What is the REV Method?
According to Merriam-Webster, to “rev up” means to become more active, or to make someone or something more active or effective. For example, you might say, “The new project is starting to rev up.” As a Salesforce Admin, you should definitely aim to be an active and effective communicator with your users and executives; however, this is not the only reason it’s called the REV Method.
REV is an acronym that stands for Role, Experience, and Value. It’s a simple yet effective way to remember the three broad categories to address when talking to your users and executives about all the amazing work you do as a Salesforce Admin.
In this blog, I’ll give a brief overview of each of these categories, provide you with some helpful tips to put the REV Method into action, and talk a little bit more about how this method can help you achieve your career goals.
When speaking to users and executives about your role, it’s important to talk about not only what you do on a day-to-day basis, but also your overall objective or goal as a Salesforce Admin.
Under the REV Method, I recommend always outlining your objective or goal first. This helps your users and executives understand your overall vision in the context of your role as a Salesforce Admin for that particular company. Think of it as a funnel, or an upside down triangle with two parts. First, start broad and high level, outlining your overall objective or goals. Second, get more detailed and talk about what you do on a day-to-day basis.
Spend a little time thinking about these, internalize them, write them down, say them out loud — and practice, practice, practice! Then, next time you’re given the opportunity to talk about your role, you’ll have it down to a fine art.
To help you on your way, here’s an example of something you might say when describing your role to your users and executives:
“As a Salesforce Admin, I am here to help you achieve your goals using Salesforce. I aim to create innovative and customized solutions to solve your business challenges, increase productivity, and deliver value. On a day-to-day basis, I’m your go-to person for all things Salesforce, and I’m responsible for user management, data management, security, and analytics.”
I recommend you also add a relevant example, depending on who you’re speaking to. For example, if you’re speaking to the head of Human Resources, you might mention that you’re responsible for creating user profiles and permissions for new staff members, and that you’d love to see Salesforce training become a part of the onboarding process.
Sharing your career background, experience, and goals with your users and executives will serve you well. This not only establishes credibility but also builds rapport and can favorably present you as the subject matter expert for all things Salesforce — which, of course, you are, so why not let everyone know!
Here are a few suggestions for what to talk about:
- How long you’ve been a Salesforce Admin (or in the Salesforce ecosystem)
- Which Salesforce Certifications you currently hold
- The number of Trailhead badges you’ve earned (and your status!)
- Any involvement you may have in the Trailblazer Community
- How your career background, experience, and goals align with company core values
Everyone’s career path is unique, and it’s important to talk authentically about your background and experience. If you came from the Salesforce ecosystem before becoming a Salesforce Admin, that’s great. If not, that’s okay too. Some of the most successful Salesforce Admins actually come from non-technical industries and roles and taught themselves how to use Salesforce, which speaks volumes about their can-do attitude and willingness to learn. Plus, no matter where your past experience lies, there are always transferrable and universal skills — such as communication skills — that will help accelerate your success as a Salesforce Admin.
To help you on your way, here’s an example of what you might say under the REV Method:
“I’ve been a Salesforce Admin for four years. Prior to this, I was a Sales Support Rep for five years, using Salesforce every day to help resolve customer issues. I hold a current Salesforce Administrator and Senior Administrator certification, and I am a Trailhead Ranger, having earned 150 badges on the Trailhead learning platform. I’m also part of the local Salesforce Admin Community Group, where I meet monthly with other Salesforce Admins to share learnings and experiences. I’m super passionate about using technology to create positive and lasting impact, which is why I am so excited by the opportunity to work for X company and with you and your team.”
Be excited, share your passion, and show how your career goals and personal values align with the company’s core values. When you talk about your experience, I also recommended you share a quick story or anecdote from your time as a Salesforce Admin. Perhaps a past success or learning moment, or even something amusing that happened to you as an admin, because humor is always a great way to break the ice!
Every day in your role, you create customized solutions that deliver real — and lasting — business value. You champion productivity, deliver innovation, and drive success. What you do is very impressive, but how do you articulate this and help both your users and executives clearly understand the value you bring to the table? It’s a million-dollar question, isn’t it?
Using the REV Method, I recommend you talk about this in the context of both skills and solutions. That is, what skills do you possess and how do these skills help you create solutions that deliver value to the business? This is a practice I like to call Skills to Solutions.
To help frame conversations with users and executives regarding your skills, aim to group them into the below categories, and keep a WIIFT — What’s In It For Them — mindset. That is, don’t make the conversation about YOU! Make it about how YOUR skills can help THEM achieve THEIR goals and, therefore, the goals of the business:
- Salesforce Skills — You have the knowledge and know-how to utilize the Salesforce ecosystem to achieve business goals and increase return on investment (ROI).
- Technical Skills — You are a database management, security, and compliance expert and can build innovative and customized solutions to meet the needs of different users.
- Business Analysis Skills — You understand how Salesforce can be used to improve and automate business processes and operations, increasing user productivity.
- Leadership Skills — You are the go-to person for all things Salesforce and effective at building relationships and communicating a vision.
- Project Management Skills — You are excellent at planning, communicating, and presenting, as well as simplifying complex technical concepts into actionable plans.
- Industry Skills — You understand how Salesforce can be optimized for the business and industry in which you operate.
For each of the six skills listed above, aim to write down one or two specific examples of how these skills help you deliver value to the business. The more specific and tangible your examples are, the better — and as always, including numbers to support your example is a good idea. Using the new Salesforce Optimizer App is a great way to provide insights and transparency into your org, such as number of customizations, reports, and usage and adoption data.
To help you on your way, here are some examples of things you might say when trying to communicate your value as a Salesforce Admin, using the “Skills to Solutions” practice:
“As a Salesforce Admin, I create solutions that deliver real and lasting business value. For example:
- Using my Salesforce skills, I help ensure that we are are getting the maximum return on our Salesforce investment. For example, last year I led a cross-functional team to implement a value selling initiative that saw user adoption increase by 25%.
- Using my technical skills, I create customized solutions that give my users and executives a 360-degree view of the business and our customers. For example, every week I run a security health check of our org to proactively identify and fix vulnerabilities in our security settings.
- Using my business analysis skills, I identify ways to make the business more efficient and effective. For example, last month I automated 6 different manual processes, saving each sales rep an estimated 100 hours per year.
- Using my leadership skills, I aim to be the go-to person for all things Salesforce. For example, I often present at different team meetings. In fact, last week I demoed a bunch of new reporting features for sales managers that is going to give them greater insights into lost opportunities.
- Using my project management skills, I regularly lead cross-functional projects. For example, I am currently working with our senior leaders to put together a detailed plan to implement Service Cloud.
- Using my industry skills, I stay up to date with all the new rules and regulations affecting our business. For example, last month a new privacy law for our industry came into place, and I updated our org settings to ensure that we are in compliance.”
One of your key strengths as a Salesforce Admin is your unique skill set, which consists of both business and technical skills. We encourage you to be transparent with your users and executives about not only your skill set but also your commitment to learning, growing, and — most importantly — delivering value to the organization.
How will the REV Method help me?
The REV Method helps you proactively communicate with your users and executives, and project credibility. It is designed to be adaptable to any situation. There are times you’ll have 30 seconds to talk about your role, experience, and value — and there are times you’ll have 30 minutes. It’s my hope that the REV Method becomes a part of your everyday mindset, so that whenever you’re presented with the opportunity to talk with your users and executives, you have a simple and effective way to outline all the important information you want to get across.
Here are other examples of when the REV Method may be helpful:
- When meeting a new stakeholder for the first time
- At performance reviews with your manager
- At the start of a presentation
- When going for a promotion or pay raise
- When someone asks, “What does a Salesforce Admin do?”
- When asked to give a quick introduction about yourself at an event
- When going for job interviews
Give it a go!
When it comes to building a successful career as a Salesforce Admin — including gaining promotions and pay increases — your ability to effectively communicate your role, experience, and the value you add to a business is key.
Although the REV Method was designed specifically to help Salesforce Admins talk to users and executives, it’s a simple and adaptable method that can easily be applied to many other communications in the world of business and beyond. So, go ahead — REV it up!
We’d love to hear about YOUR experience in using the REV Method, and also help other Salesforce Admins learn how they can use the method to talk about all the awesome work they’re doing. Share one REV statement on Twitter using #AwesomeAdmin.